Historical Tour of Imerovigli, Santorini (Self Guided)

Away from the crowded village of Thira yet close to the famous Santorini Caldera, are two small settlements, Firostefani and Imerovigli. These gorgeous villages can be found on the road to Oia. Each village has something unique to offer to any visitor of this beautiful island. Take this tour and discover hidden treasures in these two picturesque villages.
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Historical Tour of Imerovigli Map

Guide Name: Historical Tour of Imerovigli
Guide Location: Greece » Santorini (See other walking tours in Santorini)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Author: max
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Firostefani

1) Firostefani (must see)

Firostefani is a quaint town located between the villages of Fira and Imerovigli on the cliffs of Caldera. The high vantage point of the cliffs allows visitors to experience a unique perspective of the stunning sea, volcano, and other beautiful surroundings. Quite simply, the best views of the city are afforded here. The sunsets are something you should not miss when you visit.

One recommended attraction is the historic Agios Nikolas Nunnery. It is located between Firostefani and Imerovigli and contains many important relics and Byzantine icons. In addition, the nuns make handmade textiles using hand looms. For those who wish to get a quick bite to eat, the Santorini Firostefani Café offers a great selection of wines and other beverages, a panoramic view of the caldera, and delicious cuisine.

The town represents a perfect blend of old and new. Whether you want to swim, boat, hike, or eat, this calm and scenic setting makes it a perfect spot to escape to. White-washed hotels complement traditional-style houses and apartments. Hotels, located close to the centre of town, include the Efterpi Villas, the Kafieris, the Sunset, the Agali Houses, and the Kafieris Blue. Although there are many shops to visit, one of the best is the Aegean Designs store that sells handmade linens and art.
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Firostefani Ruins

2) Firostefani Ruins

Basically, the entire island is an archeological site with a few exceptions. The road from Firostefani to Imerovigli has its own "surprises". Some of the traditional houses with their hard, smooth walls moistened by water and ground, that were partially dug into the soft tephera, were destroyed by the earthquake in 1968. The remains of those settlements are still there today and serve as a reminder of what happened decades ago.
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Agios Nikolaos Nunnery

3) Agios Nikolaos Nunnery

Located in the stunning and blue waters of the Aegean Sea is the Agios Nikolaos Nunnery. This female convent is located between the villages of Firostefani and Imerovogli in Santorini, Greece. It is dedicated to saints Agios Panteleimon, Agios Nikolaos, and Zoodochos Pigi, and was established by the Gizi family in 1651. Prior to its current use, it was a private family chapel.

The island of Santorini is well known for its white-washed and blue domed churches. With at least 250 houses of worship on the island, you literally cannot walk anywhere without seeing one of these beautiful buildings. In fact, many of these stunning structures are the site of weddings for tourists.

The design of the nunnery reflects the clean and simple lines of Cycladic style, while the interior of the edifice features beautiful sixteenth century artwork and spectacular golden icons. Two museums, folklore and ecclesiastical, are also located on the property.

It is best to visit during August 15th, when the religious festival the Feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary occurs. After church services, locals and visitors celebrate the holiday with food, song, and dance. Visitors will enjoy viewing the handmade textiles that the nuns make, using hand looms. They are open daily from 8 am to 12:30 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm.
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Church of Panagia Malteza

4) Church of Panagia Malteza (must see)

Yet another masterpiece of the Byzantine period that survived the earthquake, the Church of Panagia Malteza is one of Imerovigli's well-known landmarks. This church is located in a unique place; from this point, there are 3 paths leading to the Caldera walkway, the Skaros Rock, and the Chapel of Panagia Theoskepasti, respectively.
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Skaros Castle Ruins

5) Skaros Castle Ruins

Located in Imerovigli Village, the Skaros Castle Ruins is one of five fortified settlements in the city. This ancient and fascinating site was originally known as Epano Kastro and also as La Roka. It was built by the Venetian, Giacomo Barozzi, in the 1200s and was the capital of the town until the eighteenth century. The castle was also used as an observation tower and featured a bell, at the top of the mount, to warn townspeople of approaching pirates. It was and still is known as the symbol of Santorini.

Once a populous area, damage from earthquakes in 1650, 1701, 1866, and 1870 caused all of the townspeople to move and turned the once glorious castle into rubble. The area is completely uninhabited, except for the Church of Agios Ioannis Apokefalistheis.

Hikers will enjoy the walking trail that starts at the church Agios, makes it way through the cape that connects Skaros with Imerovigli, and ends at the small chapel of Theoskepasti. The island is decorated with miles of beautiful remnants of lava and gorgeous landscape. If you are fortunate enough to reach the summit of Skaros, you will enjoy breathtaking views of the city and the crystal-clear Aegean Sea.
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Church of Panagia Theoskepasti

6) Church of Panagia Theoskepasti (must see)

One of Santorini's symbols, the Church of Panagia Theoskepasti, is located near the port of Andres, on Skaros Rock, a rocky peninsula that projects into the sea. It was fashioned by multiple volcanoes that changed the shape of the island from circular to crescent. In addition, many other islands were also formed from these volcanoes. The rock was also the site of a castle until an earthquake destroyed the building in the 19th century.

The white building with a blue dome housing the church is open during the day until 4pm, free for anyone to visit. Moreover, the village of Imerovigli has some of the best views of Santorini because of its high vantage point. Visitors can reach the church via the nearby walking trail that begins at Imerovigli and runs through the cape that connects Skaros to the village. The trail ends at the Chapel of Theoskepasti. There is also a stunning underwater caldera that is worth the wait. Once you have visited the church, make sure to see the Hidden Room. The cave sits to the right of the trail and is one of the few elements that remain from the original castle structure.

Tip:
Weekend morning chanting begins at 7am and is broadcasted via loudspeakers to the entire district for hours.

Walking Tours in Santorini, Greece

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Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Santorini for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Santorini has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Santorini, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.